Interview : Alexandre, Librarian of Dreams

His name is Alexandre Assouline, a Frenchman living in New-York for the past 15 years. We met him for the first time about 10 years ago in the big city while he was studying at Concordia University and Columbia University. After his degrees, he joined his family's publishing business, Assouline, in 2016. He now occupies the position of Global Vice President, where he focuses on the development and worldwide distribution of his brand.

Alexandre photographed at the Lowell Hotel in NYC - following Andrew Warrens “Just Drew” fashion show.

Home is …
Between Paris, where I grew up and have my friends and childhood memories, and New-York, where I live and spend most of my time - but is rather too business oriented for it to become a long term home base.

Stunning view from Alexandre Parisian apartment

Adventurer, metropolitan or hedonist?
Definitely Metropolitan - I enjoy an adventure but need the energy of a city.

What does it mean for you to be a gentle man?
Having good manners, be kind and respectful especially towards women and being straight forward in business.

Black tie event at the Plaza Hotel in NYC for Harper’s Bazaar – Americas first fashion magazine.

Most iconic man?
Jean-Paul Belmondo, he embodies elegance, free spirit and an intrepid life.

Where do you recommend for a first date?
A trip somewhere - both outside of your comfort zone is the best way to meet each other and discovering their true self.

Holidays destination(s)? 
Marrakech and Capri - both places have a lot of character - with an ambiance & interesting people, the more you go, the more you keep learning from the place. You never get enough. Also I find the greek Islands, like Sifnos, are particularly underrated.
In Capri, I love going to a special place, Lo Sfizio, very local but that’s the dream to feel like a local in these places!

Alexandre in the enchanting gardens of “Le Jardin Majorelle” in Marrakech, Morocco. Once owned by the famous Yves Saint Laurent.

What is your self-care hack?
I do 30 min of elliptical everyday when I wake up. Helps me wake up my body and mind.

What is your survival care kit when you travel? 
I always bring my satin eye mask to sleep in the dark, a sample of my patchouli perfume from Dior and travel size skincare.

Favorite thing(s)?
My job, my vintage zenith watch and a gin martini on friday evenings.

Talking about your job at Assouline, what is the most challenging part ?
I manage the business side of the brand. Going from sales, marketing, communications, logistics or development. It is a thrilling part to give a life to these wonderful titles that my parents create, who are handling the creative side. The most challenging part, even though it is a pleasure to start working on these projects every morning, i would say, is managing people. Specially remotely during a pandemic – but a challenge is interesting, it makes you grow and refine your capacities. 2020 made me evolve so much as a person and even more as a manager.

Alexandre at a photoshoot for the magazine Willow Speaks – who showcase the best of art, culture, people, destinations and wellbeing.

How to develop your brand in today’s world?
To answer your questions on how to be able to develop your brand in today’s world, it’s simple. When you have your idea, and concept, which is how you started the brand, you need to stay true to it. Follow that direction and constantly re explain it to your teams, so they can follow it accordingly. Being open-minded to refine the direction is crucial, but always keep heading towards it. Your team joined you for that reason, so if they start twisting, just explain it again, and again. This is how you will develop your brand, with people on your side. Talents you can trust and that understand your vision. Because no one is more excited than you or sees the maximum potential as you do, so do not refrain to communicate it so they can embark on your journey.

Alexandre in front of a breath-taking bespoke library at Assouline headquarters.

If you had the power to change something in the world, what would it be?
I would like different cultures to be more accepting of one another.

What are you reading now? 
The SAS series of 200 spy novels by Gérard de Villiers - discovering a new city following the crazy stories of the protagonist. There are more than 100 editions, so when I finish one, i jump on the next.

What next for Alexandre?
I'd love to start my own business on the side. Being part of a family business is thrilling, working with loved ones and developing a heritage - but I want to experience building one from scratch as well. I have a few ideas I want to explore but I rarely find the time as we always have exciting new projects in development that keep me busy!

Alexandre at a book signing at Domio Home Interiors in Kiev, Ukraine.